You know I'm a gamer, and right now I'm playing the most anticipated game of the year, God of War III. It just came out a couple of weeks ago and I'm currently batting my way through the pantheon (literally!) of Greek Gods and Titans. Almost done. I hope.
"This title has been rated Mature for: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content." I know, that's just an average weekend downtown for you, GG. But we don't get that much action out here in straight suburbia. Plus, there's an onscreen medical warning to scare away the weak-hearted and overly excitable. OK, I'm sold.
I can verify that rating, by the way. Murder and mayhem everywhere. If you need the head of Helios (god of the sun) to light your way through the underworld, well, you'll just have to take it from him. But how do you defeat Aphrodite (goddess of everything freaky deaky)? You guessed it, though most of that action happens just offscreen.
So please, put the kids to bed before your fire up this game. And just to be safe, keep it out of the hands of any sullen and rage-prone teens with poor social skills. That's just common sense.
But, believe me, there's art in those pixels, too. Here's a YouTube trailer if you're not convinced. Nobody enunciates "I will have my vengeance!" like Kratos (or as often, ugh!)
Check it off as a guilty (shameful?) pleasure. Here's Onion AV's take:
On the PlayStation2, the God Of War games established an unlikely blend of nearly pornographic violence and architectural fetishism. In each chapter, the damned anti-hero Kratos, driven well around the bend by killing his own family, explores ever-larger classical edifices while systematically slaughtering nearly everything found within. God Of War III ups the ante in both departments. Opening right where the second game left off, as Kratos assaults Olympus in a bid to kill Zeus, this concluding chapter is more technically grand and gorily excessive than ever.Given the carnage and the "game's deep embrace of virulent rage," I figured that this fell into stereotypical straight guy behavior. But guess what? According to a GayGamer reporter named Fruit Brute, Kratos is some serious man candy. That was news to lead game designer, Todd Papy. Here's a snippet:
FB: So, one of the things I find interesting is the sexualization of video game characters. Because despite what some people would have you believe, it really happens all the time.
FB: But mostly it's female characters who are highly sexualized.
FB: So I was wondering, when the character of Kratos was being designed, was there was any thought put to the fact that he's kind of a gay icon?
TP: Wow! (Laughs)
FB: Yeah, I mean I could show you any number of photos of gay porn actors featuring these totally ripped, shirtless bald guys with little goatees. I mean, I'm sure that's not something you really thought about.
TP: No, no it wasn't. What we were going for was really more of an animal. So basically when they first started designing him he had armor and all these other accoutrements and so we started taking that stuff off and that feeling of rage started coming across....
FB: Well, he's definitely a very hyper masculine character.
TP: Yes, definitely.
FB: I just think it's funny because so many of these male characters are designed this way, very hyper sexualized, and I don't think a group of heterosexual guys sitting around working on these things really realize that there's this whole other subsection of people who are going to see it that way.
FB: Kratos has been on our list of hottest male characters voted by readers for the last couple of years.
TP: (Laughs) Wow, really? Even with the big scar and everything?
FB: (Laughs) Absolutely!
I don't know how I could have missed all the clues. Why would I assume that a bodysculpted, well-groomed, Greek guy in full-body makeup and a sparkly, accessorized leather costume was gay?
When I get to the final showdown with Zeus, recently revealed to be Kratos' father (gasp!), there's going to be a lot more subtext to our cheesy dialogue.
Readers, is Kratos boyfriend (or bootycall) material? Or, just another creep on the subway?